Fantasy Football: Top Five Quarterbacks
I'm going to go through five quarterbacks that will help win your fantasy football league. This year is going to be the best scoring year yet for quarterbacks. According to the ESPN.com and foxsports.com, quarterbacks are being drafted at a high 66 percent in the first round. I've never been a fan of drafting QBs in the first round, but 2009 is a different year.
5. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
Matt Ryan stepped out of nowhere to finish 15th in fantasy points among quarterbacks in his rookie season of 2008, and has had the whole offseason to refine himself in an offense that won't undergo changes.
Oh, and his team added arguably the best receiving tight end of this era.
Ryan has shown that he can sit back in the pocket and fire darts. He noticeably wore down late in the season once he reached the renowned "rookie wall." In fact, he averaged 226.2 yards and threw 14 touchdowns and seven picks his first 13 games of the 2008 season, and 166.7 yards, with two TDs and four INTs his last three games.
These two issues should be greatly improved after an entire offseason of learning and conditioning under an NFL team's tutelage.
The main reason he is my No. 5 choice is because Ryan played every game last season. Not just that, but he played every quarter of every game last season; his backup didn't throw a single pass. What's not to love about this guy?
4. Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals)
After leading the Cardinals to the Super Bowl last year, Warner is looking to do nothing but soar back to it again in 2009.
With Boldin and Fitzgerald, how can you go wrong with Warner?
He's got the experience, and he's got the players. Now all he has to do is shine like he did last year and the Cardinals will be flying high again. In 2008, Warner racked up 598 pass attempts, a career high. This year, look for him to break that record.
As long as his body holds up, Warner is a great acquisition to any fantasy team.
3. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts)
Has Peyton Manning ever had a poor season? I think Manning is the most consistent quarterback of all time.
Every year you can expect him to throw 30+ touchdowns. Make no mistake, Manning isn't the same guy he was five years ago. Last season's under-the-radar, offseason knee surgery caused him to start slow against a tough schedule. His offensive line wasn't as spry as it once was, and the Colts struggled to get consistency out of their running game.
Yet in what looked like it might be a "down season," Manning won the NFL's MVP award. He's probably not going to toss more than 35 touchdowns in '09, but he's also not throwing fewer than 25. He'll surely get you 4,000 yards and won't hurt you with many negative plays.
Even if the elite upside is gone because of personnel, age, and circumstance, Manning is worth drafting because he's phenomenally sound and clutch.
2. Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
After sitting out the entire 08' season, Brady is nothing but anxious to come out and play with the boys.
In 2007, Brady was drafted first round in every league known to humanity. This year has been the same way so far, and I agree with it. He still has the best offensive line in the game, and with Moss and Welker, he can still air it out. He has no problem throwing the deep fade route to Moss, and throwing the short under route to Welker like he did in 2007.
The New England offensive system is awesome, so drafting him is worth the risk, but that doesn't mean it's not scary.
1. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
In his three years in New Orleans, Brees has become the most consistently valuable quarterback in fantasy.
In 2008, he became the second man ever to exceed 5,000 yards passing in a season, and he came within 15 yards of tying Dan Marino's record. His slow start in '07 is a distant memory, and his marriage with Sean Payton continues to bring huge rewards.
Can you make the argument that Tom Brady deserves our top spot among signal-callers for his upside? Perhaps, but Brees is healthier, has elite weapons and a down field passing attack, and throws on the run as well as anyone in football. You probably won't get 5,000 yards out of him again in '09, but 4,400 is a lock.
Look out folks, Brees is at it again.